Where Sony Went Wrong (and Right)

I seem to end up in the same debate every couple of weeks.  The agrument of which video game system is the best right now is on a lot of people’s minds.  With Sony and Microsoft lowering prices on their consoles, a consumer can get confused if they do not know what they are looking at.

You see while Sony released the better system from a hardware standpoint, they lack the game support.  While Microsoft has the game support (due largely to their “first to market” status) they lack the hardware support for full 1080p games that the Playstation 3 will soon see.  However, where Sony lacks in game support they are making up for with Blu-Ray movies.  Where Sony had previously gone wrong with UMD, they went right with Blu-Ray.  Microsoft has HD-DVD support for the Xbox 360, but it comes at an additional cost.  Plus a lot of studios have shifted away from HD-DVD and have embraced the Blu-Ray format (not always exclusively).

See where I feel Sony went wrong was releasing a game system (because that is what the Playstation brand name is associated with) without proper game support.  They essentially shafted the game makers by not finalizing on hardware until just before going to mass production, and released a system that is difficult to develop for.  The thing is that to mom, dad, and even grandma the Playstation name means games.  When these people go into a store to purchase a system for their little ones, they see shelves full of Xbox 360 games, while only seeing a handful of Playstation 3 games.  Since they want their children to play games, they immediately look toward the system with the large library of games.  Do not argue about backwards compatability, it only wastes time on both ends because mom and dad do not understand this concept fully.

Where Sony got things right is the same thing that is their wrong, they released a system that is everything Microsoft wants the Xbox 360 to be.  The Playstation 3 is a media center for your living room.  It plays games, it watches HD movies, it can read your flash memory cards, plays music, and even plays video that you download to the device.  Sony as effectively pushed the Blu-Ray format through the Playstation 3 because every PS3 is also a Blu-Ray player regardless of the version you buy.  This has caused an increase in Blu-Ray sales, no surprise there.  Sony has a system that is already capable of future growth when it comes to tasks.  The cell processors in the Playstation 3 easily make the system the best hardware for a gaming device on the market today.

So, when you argue about the Playstation 3 and the Xbox, keep this mind.  Who has the largest potential for growth on their current hardware?  This is hands down, the Playstation 3.  Who will eventually win the war?  Well that remains to be seen.

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